Purina launches new edition of £175,000 BetterWithPets Prize

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Leading pet care business Purina has announced a strategic grant of up to £175,000 to organisations and social enterprises across Europe who work with pets to improve the health and wellbeing of others.

The winning organisation(s) of the new edition of the BetterwithPets Prize will get a grant of up to £175,000 (€200,000) over a two-year period. The total prize fund may go to one organisation or be shared between a number of entrants.

The BetterwithPets Prize initiative is part of Purina’s commitment to help one million people in vulnerable situations improve their health and wellbeing through the power of the pet human bond by 2030.

“We know there is strength in the pet-human bond and that it has the power to be a positive force for change in society,” Calum Macrae, regional director of Purina UK & Ireland, said.

“We are proud of what we have achieved so far through the BetterwithPets Prize but know there is more to be done and so urge organisations or social enterprises working to support people in vulnerable situations by the power of the pet-human bond, to apply for the prize and join this community.”

To help raise awareness of the Prize and encourage organisations harnessing the power of the pet-human bond to apply, Purina has partnered with best-selling author and disability rights campaigner Dr Amit Patel. He is registered severely sight impaired (blind), having lost his sight to keratoconus in 2013. He has a close relationship with his guide dog, Kika, and is hugely passionate about the power of the pet-human bond.

“The BetterwithPets Prize is a unique opportunity for those working to improve the health and wellbeing of humans through the pet-human bond, to gain support, insight, awareness and funding for their ventures,” Dr Patel said.

“As someone who comes from a medical background but now relies on my guide dog Kika to provide independence and security, I know first-hand how important having a pet by my side can be, not just in providing physical support but also for my mental wellbeing too.”

Purina launched the BetterwithPets Prize back in 2018. Previous UK winners include StreetVet, which was awarded the resources to develop their first accredited hostel scheme to provide shelters for homeless people and their pets at the height of the pandemic when accommodation for the homeless was a key issue.

A grant was also previously awarded to UK charity Medical Detection Dogs, which trains dogs to detect human disease with the aim of developing faster, more efficient and less invasive diagnostics that lead to better patient outcomes.